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Man previously jailed for molesting stepdaughter preys on her again after release

The victim, now 14, agreed to return to live with the offender as she wanted to give her mother "the chance to feel like she has one happy family again".

Man previously jailed for molesting stepdaughter preys on her again after release

Photo illustration of a child in distress. (Photo: Jeremy Long/CNA)

SINGAPORE: A man who was previously sentenced to jail for molesting his underage stepdaughter reoffended after being released from prison.

The girl, now 14, had a nervous breakdown after the latest sexual intrusion and ran away. She now lives in a care home.

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named due to gag orders imposed by the court, was sentenced on Thursday (Feb 16) to three years' jail and eight strokes of the cane for the new offences.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of molestation, with a third charge taken into consideration.

The court heard that the man was previously sentenced to 26 months' jail and three strokes of the cane for offences, including molesting the victim.

He was released on remission on Aug 17, 2020, with the remission order running until May 7, 2021.

Due to his previous offences against his stepdaughter, she could not stay with her mother in the family home after the accused was released.

Instead, she stayed with her maternal uncle and aunt. 

After the offender was released, efforts were made to reintegrate the family. Around May 2021, the accused was allowed to interact with the victim at her aunt's place, in the presence of the victim's mother and uncle.

The family, including the accused and the victim, also went on staycations. As the victim and her mother felt that "everything was OK", they trusted that nothing untoward would happen again.

On Jun 28, 2021, the victim was staying temporarily with her maternal grandparents when her mother and the accused went to visit her.

Her mother decided that she would bring the victim back to stay at the family home.

However, just two days later, when the rest of the family had gone to sleep, the offender struck again.

The victim's mother was asleep in her room with a baby, and the victim's stepsiblings were also sleeping.

The offender was playing the video game Mobile Legends with the victim in the living room, when he began to molest her.

She froze and did not know how to react, but the man continued to molest her until he noticed her discomfort.

He stopped, apologised and said: "Don't tell anyone as (I do) not want to go back to jail."

The victim did not respond and later fell asleep. However, she was woken up by the accused grabbing a hold of her hand and forcing her to commit a sex act.

That same day, the victim went to stay with her aunt and told her that she felt nauseous.

That evening, her aunt noticed that the victim was crying to herself and asked what was wrong. The victim revealed that her stepfather had molested her.

Over the next two days, the victim informed her child protection officer about the offences and lodged a report against her stepfather.

Immediately after lodging the report, the victim had a nervous breakdown and ran away from her aunt's home. As a result, her aunt and uncle did not wish to continue caring for her.


The victim was seen at the Child Guidance Clinic of the Institute of Mental Health in January 2022, and said she had nightmares and flashbacks.

Her studies have also been badly affected, the court heard.

The accused was arrested and interviewed by the police, but initially denied having any sexual contact with the victim.

His DNA was later found on the victim's underwear.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En asked for 24 to 28 months' jail and six to nine strokes of the cane for the offender.

He said the accused was a repeat sexual offender "in every sense of the word", committing sexual offences against his young stepdaughter barely a month after his remission order had expired.

Mr Chong said there was an abuse of trust, and that the victim was trying to forgive her stepfather for the first offence.

"She agreed to go back to live with them ... as she heartbreakingly revealed, 'I wanted to give my mother the chance to feel like she has one happy family again'," said Mr Chong.

He said the offender "has sullied both the notion of family and of forgiveness".

"The accused has clearly not learnt his lesson even after being punished for his previous sexual offences," said Mr Chong.

"We urge this honourable court to impose a suitably deterrent sentence against him so that this time, the lesson sticks."

The accused was allowed to begin his jail term in May, after his wife, who has forgiven him, gives birth to her latest child.

Source: CNA/ll(sn)


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